Thursday, 5 September 2013

Back up your memory

Dangerous Waters by CM Michaels
Please help us welcome, CM Michaels, author of Dangerous Waters, an urban fantasy, vampire novel.

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Having worked with computers all of my adult life, both personally and professionally, I have learned all too well the importance of backing up critical information embedded within the machines that we have come to be so dependent upon. For example, I have a daily backup of Dangerous Waters going all the way back to February 19, 2009, when I penned the first three and a half pages. Master copies are also saved on a portable hard drive, a zip drive and on a secured cloud network.

But what do we do to preserve the information contained within our minds? Oh sure, with the advent of smart phones, and before them the camcorder, parents now take countless pictures and hours of digital footage of their children during their formative years, but how much of this will still be viewable thirty or forty years from now? Think of how many smart phones and computers you will go through between now and then, and how fast the various social networking sites have come and gone. Anyone looked at the information they entered on Myspace lately? Are you really going to transfer all of this material each time? And then there is my generation and those before it, when the internet didn't even exist—let alone Facebook or Twitter— and pictures were taken on film that had to be developed and now sit in countless boxes in our parent's attics.

Our childhoods are filled with cherished experiences with family and close friends—playing sports, first crushes, great books we read and countless other things that helped shape our personality, character, and values. But as we age these once prized memories are marked as "available space" by our minds, and are overwritten with information deemed more relevant to our current lives.

To illustrate, I want you to think about the following: What is the first vivid, detailed memory you have of being in school? What can you clearly recall from your childhood family trips? What is the first meal you can remember eating—not just remember the food your parents made, but actually recall eating it? What is the first book you read that you can still remember the plot? First movie? For those of you over 40, how many detailed memories do you have from junior high or earlier overall? Of those, how many can you recall more than just that something happened, and actually see the images play back in your mind?

The sad truth is that by the time we reach middle age the first fifteen years of our lives are all but forgotten. Aunts, uncles and cousins who we once knew well become strangers we bump into at family reunions, the stories they recount lost on us. Accomplishments we were once so proud of fade into vague memories that almost seem as if they happened to someone else. Books responsible for inspiring our love of reading are reduced to titles and cryptic blurbs. And family trips to national parks, Disneyworld and the like are purged by our minds like they mean as little to us as the algebra lessons we were sure we would never need.

So how can we prevent this fate from repeating itself with future generations? Will sharing pics and videos on social sites be enough to allow this generation to retain more from their formative years? In my mind social sites in and of themselves are not the answer. If you disagree, ask your child how many posts they have looked at from more than even three months ago. And these sites have their own purge routines. The only way to truly retain these memories is to force our minds to think about them often enough so they are deemed valuable as we age. Having your kids keep electronic journals of important memories that they review once a month, taking the time to truly think about each item on it, would reduce the data that needs to be retained / transferred to one file, and would allow their generation and the generations to come to truly recall their childhood throughout their lives.


C.M Michaels grew up in a small town in northern Michigan as the youngest child of a close-knit family of seven. He met his wife, Teresa, while attending Saginaw Valley State University. Together they've provided a loving home for several four-legged "kids", including Sophie, their eternally young at heart, hopelessly spoiled Spaniel.

He has always enjoyed writing, and still has fond memories of reading his first book, a children's novella, to local grade schools when he was 14. Dangerous Waters, the first book in the Sisters in Blood series, is being published by Freya's Bower on September 5th, 2013. C.M. is currently working on the second book in the Sisters in Blood series along with a Fantasy romance.

When he's not writing, C.M. can be found curled up with a good book, watching movies or hitting the hiking trails with his wife. An avid reader since discovering Jim Kjelgaard novels in early childhood, his favorite authors include Kelley Armstrong, Peter V. Brett, Richelle Mead, Rachel Caine, Cassandra Claire, J.R. Ward, Laini Taylor and Tessa Dawn.

C.M. currently resides in Louisville, Kentucky.

Social Media links:

For Emily Waters, a nature-loving, small-town girl with an overprotective father, heading off to Boston University to study conservation biology is a dream come true—until a chance encounter catapults her into a mythical world she'd do anything to escape.

The latest victim in a rash of abductions near campus, Emily is brutally attacked before being rescued by a powerful new friend. She survives the ordeal, only to find herself held captive and presented with an impossible choice.

While preparing for the unimaginable life she must now embrace, clues soon emerge that Emily may not be entirely human, and her physical transformation awakens goddess-like powers that her new family cannot begin to explain.

Dealing with her human first love, the not-so-platonic relationship with her coven "sister," and her new vampire sort-of-boyfriend further complicates matters, not to mention being secretly hunted by the psychopaths who attacked her. And as the only known offspring of a once all-powerful race, the climactic battle is just the beginning of her journey.

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C.M. Michaels said...

Thank you so much for welcoming me on your Blog and allowing me to vent about the lost memories that come with middle age :) Getting old sucks! I hope everyone enjoys the post and the information on my new release, Dangerous Waters.

Marci Baun said...

Our pleasure, CM. I remember a lot of things, but perhaps that is because I'm narcissistic and reflect on my past frequently. Or maybe it's just I'm really immature. Of course, there is a lot I've forgotten.

Memories do remain latent, I think. Many years ago when I was twelve or so, I remember plunking out a song on the piano. It was "Hush, Little Baby." I didn't know what it was at the time, but it sounded hauntingly familiar. When I played it for my mom, she told me that she'd sung that song to me as an infant all of the time. It's interesting how it surfaced so many years later.

C.M. Michaels said...

Too funny :) And good point on the latent memories. Similar to a computer (where deleting a file doesn't actually delete it from memory) I think we just lose the connection to most of the them. We basically don't know how to retrieve it anymore. Sometime all it takes is to hear a song or think about some tangent idea that is related in some way and we find a back door to what we have lost.

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-blessed holy socks, the non-perishable-zealot said...

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